Monthly Archives: March 2014

I am not a fan of plateaus

Hello Everybody!

As I sit here and write this post, it is a very chilly and very windy evening in central Illinois.  Although wind is typical of March weather in these parts, I think that we can all say we have had enough.  This Winter has affected all of us deeply.  The harsh weather that we haven’t seen in many years came back with a vengeance and we definitely weren’t prepared mentally for it.  I know I certainly wasn’t.  Now that we are just a few days from the official start of Spring, we know that warmer temperatures are on the way.  The light can definitely be seen at the end of the tunnel.

I believe when we settle in for Winter it’s easy to go into sort of a mental hibernation or auto pilot, if you will.  I think that this Winter put me into a weight loss hibernation as well, namely multiple plateaus that frustrated the crapola out of me.  I would lose a pound, bounce back up one and a half pounds and then stay there for a couple of days to a week and then slowwwwwly return to the weight I had gotten down to.  I’m not even sure how many times I have done this throughout the Winter.  Very frustrating.  I have had a hard time consistently keeping the number on the scales going down.  I began working out in mid-December and I was constantly having to reinforce and remind myself that with working out that muscle weighs five times more than fat does.  So I know that I was and am building muscle while I am shedding fat.  It was still frustrating nonetheless.  A constant thought in the back of my head has been, “Once the weather breaks and I become more active outside, it will be easier to jump start the weight loss.  Just hang in for warmer weather.”  That seems to be my mantra.  I have been obsessed with the weather reports and watching the 10 day forecasts for a week that is consistently in the 50s and 60s.

But it’s not just the weather.  It’s been what I have been putting in my body as well.
While I have continued to stay gluten free, I have occasionally wavered in my avoidance of sugar always with not so pleasant side effects.  I have also taken advantage of the “GLUTEN FREE” processed foods (cookies, snacks, etc.) that have not helped either.   I have found that for me I have to severely curb my intake of grains.  And there is a correlation between how many vegetables I eat and my weight loss success.  The more fresh vegetables, fruits and meat I eat, the better I do.  If I don’t drink enough water throughout the day, it will also have an effect on my weight loss.

Complacency has been a big problem with me this Winter.  I have a tendency to justify what I eat that it will be OK (this time!) and then it quickly becomes a habit after only a few days.  It is so easy to do.

So I guess  am writing this today as a testimony that during our journey, each and every one of us will have times of frustration and days that we will waver in our resolve to stick to our eating plans.  But that does not mean that we have lost the fight.  It only means we are human.  We all make mistakes and occasional bad choices, but it’s how we face them and go on that tells our story.  If you or I  have a bad day, it is just that.  A bad day.  Tomorrow is another chance to make better choices.  Leave tomorrow in the past and concentrate on the future.  I can do it.  And I know that you can, too!

“Did you miss me?” & “My Review of the Downtown Indianapolis P.F. Chang’s”

Wow!  I can’t believe it’s been over a month that I have posted.  Life gets in the way, I guess.  Lots to catch up on.  This Winter has seemed to drag on forever!  Now old man Winter is winding  down and we are seeing subtle changes.  I hear the birds singing in the morning now and that always makes me smile.  The weather here is still rather cold, but the warming trend is beginning and we dodged the last predicted blizzard with only 1-2 inches.  I’ll take it.  Spring is definitely on its way and we will be setting the clocks forward this weekend and it always helps that the sun sets later in the evening.  I expect my mood will be greatly improved when the days seem to last longer.

My husband and I went away for the weekend a couple of weeks ago.  He had a seminar to attend and I went along to relax and do a little shopping, well, no a lot of shopping.  It’s my favorite thing to do!  I should have been a personal shopper since I love it so much.

We traveled to Indianapolis for this seminar.  It is one that we look forward to each year.  The NFL combine is also going on at the same time so it’s fun to people watch and see if you can spot NFL team owners and other important dignitaries of the NFL world.  Since football is very important in this household, this is just a perk of being there at the same time as the Combine.

I was a little concerned about how I would be eating while we were there.  I bought and packed snacks for both of us in case we couldn’t find places we liked to eat or that couldn’t accommodate my gluten free lifestyle.  I knew I would be OK either way.  When I shop, I don’t particularly like stopping to sit down and eat somewhere so having a gluten free bar in my purse or an apple or other GF snack tides me over just fine.  And I get more shopping time in, too!   We always agree to meet for dinner each night and this is where the story gets interesting.

We got into Indy Thursday afternoon, got to the hotel, checked in and unpacked.  We decided to take a walk since it was not that cold outside and there are a lot of restaurants in the downtown area.  Now a few blocks from the hotel is a mall.  There is easy inside access to this mall across the street from our hotel, but we walked the three blocks to the mall and there is a restaurant there with outside access.  This restaurant is PF Chang’s.  Neither Todd or I had ever eaten there.  With it being a Thursday, we did not have to wait to be seated.  After being seated and greeted by our server, we told them that I was gluten free.  She said great! we have a gluten free menu and opened our menu up and pointed out the section that was specifically gluten free.  Here is a picture of the GF menu:

PF Changs GF menuOMG!  I thought I had died and gone to heaven!  Asian cuisine is one of my favorites and I  hadn’t eaten it in awhile mostly because I was trying to stay away from MSG and fried foods that are almost always coated in wheat based breading.   Our server explained the menu to us and that any entrees that are gluten free are brought out on special plates with the PF Chang’s logo so that we know it is gluten free.
She made sure to tell us  not to use the soy sauce that was on the table because it did contain gluten, but that she would bring out gluten free soy sauce and  the other condiments will be gluten free as well.

I chose the Philip’s Better Lemon Chicken and it was delicious!!!  Todd and I shared a side of GF Spinach stir fried with Garlic.  Also, most delicious!!!  And we couldn’t end the evening without trying the GF flourless chocolate dome for dessert.  We had that boxed so we could enjoy it back at the hotel.  It addition to the flourless cake, it had a scrumptious raspberry  sauce and fresh berries (strawberries, blueberries and raspberries).

We mentioned to our server that I was a gluten free blogger and that I would be blogging about my experience that night.  I told her that everything was delicious and we would be giving them a good review.  A few minutes later, the manager on shift came over and gave us two gift cards for an amount off our next meal and hoped our meal was satisfactory.  I told her that I would be blogging my experience and that it would be a good review.  She thanked us for trying PF Chang’s.

Needless to say we were impressed with the service, the attention to detail to accommodate my GF requirements and the food was delicious!!

PF Changs GenaWe were stuffed by the time we left and enjoyed our dessert back at the hotel.   AND I had a gluten free beer that night called OMission Pale Ale.  It was pretty tasty as well!

So Friday after a busy day of shopping  and meeting Todd to go to dinner, we decided to go back to PF Chang’s again.  With it being a weekend night, we had a little bit of a wait, but it wasn’t too long.

Now this is the next day and there were different people on shift, but when we were seated our server already knew that we were gluten free.  How they knew, I have no idea.  But we enjoyed another fantastic meal and another GF flourless chocolate dome that we had to take back to the hotel because we were stuffed, but again, it was a wonderful and delicious experience.
So if you are in a city that has a PF Chang’s and have never tried it, I highly recommend them.  Even though I am gluten free I know that if the regular menu was half as good as the GF menu I tasted, it would still be fantastic!  And I looked up their locations and they do have one in Chesterfield, MO which is not that long of a drive for us central Illinoisians.  We will be making a trip there in the future for sure.  If you are traveling, check to see if they have one in the city you are visiting at http://pfchangs.com.  I guarantee you will not be disappointed!